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01Sep2016 Market Close: Major Indexes Closed Mixed, Flat And Unattractive, Gold Climbed Higher, Crude Prices Slipped Lower Along With The US Dollar

Written by Gary

Wall Street closed mixed, flat, but mostly in the green rising from sideways afternoon trading. Crude prices remain depressed on glut concerns, the US dollar has fallen off session highs on investors rate increase concerns. The Institute for Supply Management's gauge fell to 49.4 from 52.6 readings above 50 point to expansion, below 50 indicate contraction. Indicators bearish.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The first column is what was reported this morning. The second column is what analysts had forecast and the third column is the previous report. Full calendar HERE.

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. ends flat as tech offsets soft data

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday as gains in the tech sector helped investors shake off sluggish factory activity data and a decline in oil prices, while exercising caution ahead of a key payrolls report on Friday.

Wal-Mart to cut 7,000 U.S. store back-office jobs

(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Thursday it will cut about 7,000 back-office jobs, mostly in accounting and invoicing positions at its U.S. stores, continuing a program it announced in June of cutting such jobs on the West Coast.

Fed's Mester says case for rate increases is compelling

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Reuters) - The U.S. labor market is at full strength and the Federal Reserve needs to be on a path of gradual interest rate increases, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Thursday.

Exclusive: HP Enterprise in talks to sell software unit to Thoma Bravo - sources

(Reuters) - Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (HPE) is in talks with buyout firm Thoma Bravo LLC to sell its software division, hoping it can fetch between $8 billion and $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Germany goes to EU with accusation of Fiat emissions cheating

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Transport Ministry has asked the European Commission to investigate exhaust emissions of Fiat Chrysler vehicles for potential illegal manipulation devices, German government documents showed on Thursday.

Fed may stay cool on September hike even if job market glows hot

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Even if a report due Friday shows U.S. companies kept up their rapid pace of hiring in August, there is still enough resistance among policymakers at the Federal Reserve to delay an interest-rate hike at the bank's September meeting.

U.S. factory activity contracts in August; layoffs remain low

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. factory activity contracted in August for the first time in six months as new orders and production tumbled, but a low level of layoffs continued to point to a pickup in economic growth in the third quarter.

Duke Energy shareholder lawsuit over CEO firing moves forward

(Reuters) - Duke Energy Corp's board must face a shareholder lawsuit over its abrupt 2012 firing of its newly installed chief executive, a Delaware judge has ruled.

August U.S. auto sales down; carmakers say industry has peaked

DETROIT (Reuters) - U.S. auto sales fell about 3.5 percent in August, and some major automakers said a long-expected sales decline has begun or, at best, that sales have hit a plateau, which may spark a shift to juicer customer incentives and slowed production.

"Death, Taxes, & A Disappointing August Jobs Data" - Why Tomorrow's Payroll Print Will Be A Farce

As the world awaits tomorrow's "most important jobs data ever" on the basis that it alone will decide the path of The Fed's data-dependent rate decisions and thus the tightening of financial conditions across global markets, there is one chart that everyone has to see...

August NFPs have been weaker than consensus expectations in each of the last 5 years and in 14 of the last 18 years of available data.

And furthermore, going back 25 years, no month has produced less jobs than August...

h/t @RyanDetrick

Which could be a problem, because, as Bloomberg reports, while the focus was on Yellen's statement that the case for an interest-rate increase "has strengthened in recent months," she followed with new language that the central bank's decisions depend on the degree that data "continues to confirm" the outlook.

That, and other recent remarks by Fed officials, suggest that job gains need to be merely solid -- rather than extraordinary -- to warrant raising bor ...

Q2 Earnings Review - Hockey Stick Hopes Remain

Submitted by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

With roughly 97% of the S&P 500 having reported earnings, as of the end of August, we can take a closer look at the results through the 2nd quarter of the year. Despite the exuberance from the media over the "number of companies that beat estimates" during the most recent reported period, 12-month operating earnings per share FELL from $98.61 per share in Q1 to $98.33 which translates into a quarterly decrease of 0.2%. While operating earnings are widely discussed by analysts and the general media; there are many problems with the way in which these earnings are derived due to one-time charges, inclusion/exclusion of material events, and outright manipulation to "beat earnings."

Therefore, from a historical valuation perspective, reported earnings are much more relevant in determining market over/undervaluation levels. It is from this perspective the news improved modestly as 12-month reported earnings per share rose from $86.44 in Q1 to $86.99, or 0.6% in Q2. However, despite the improvement in reported earnings for the quarter, the trend remains clearly negative.

Earnings-Operating-Reported-090116

Always Optimistic

Merkel Facing Humiliation, Political Defeat In Her Home State On Sunday

While it is no surprise that the biggest loser from Germany's catastrophic flirtation with admitting over a million Syrian refugees in 2015 has been Angela Merkel, and her ruling CDU party, both of which have seen their popular support in the polls tumble, one clear winner has emerged: Germany's anti-immigration Alternative for Germany, or AfD, which is running neck-and-neck with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania ahead of a vote on Sunday. What makes this vote particularly sensitive for Angela Merkel is that this it takes place in her home state.

According to the latest shock poll, released late on Wednesday, the AfD is leading the CDU by 23 percent to 20 percent, with the Social Democrats, who currently run the rural state in coalition with Merkel's party, at 28 percent support. What's more, according to Bloomberg the AfD's recent history in regional votes suggests it will perform better on election day than predicted in polls.

Merkel's center-right coalition of conservatives and pro-business Free Democrats has suffered a slump in support this year due to growing discontent over Merkel's handling of the euro crisis and because of turmoil in the FDP, under fire for its perceived poor record in government. The parties suffered a major blow in March when they lost power in the large south-western state of Baden-Württemberg, a CDU bastion for over half a century.

Sunday's vote will mark the start of a tough month for the chancellor. It will be followed on Sept. 18 by a regional election in Berlin, where ...

WTI Plunges 15% From Recent Highs, Tests $42 Handle

Well that escalated very quickly...

WTI is now down 15% from last week's highs...

Seemingly getting hammered early in the day...

Salesforce.com: The Art of the Deal

Signs of slowdown are putting a cloud over software maker Salesforce.com's pristine valuation.

Jobs Report: The Fed's Final Hurdle

A strong jobs report might be too tough for the Federal Reserve to ignore as it weighs when to raise interest rates.

China Can't Break Free From the Almighty Dollar

Trading of the yuan has increased from three years ago, but it is almost exclusively with the U.S. dollar.

College chain ITT won't enroll new students next quarter

The disclosure comes a week after the Department of Education said the school could no longer enroll new students who receive federal financial aid funding

Market Extra: This could be a September to remember for investors

After one of the sleepiest Augusts in recent memory, the calendar could make things very interesting for investors in September.

Market Extra: A 3-year low for this contrarian indicator may be a screaming buy signal

September has the unenviable reputation of being a dismal month for the stock market and few analysts have been as vocal about a potential correction as Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategist Savita Subramanian.

Summary of Economic Releases this Week

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Earnings Summary for Today

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To contact me with questions, comments or constructive criticism is always encouraged and appreciated:

gary@econintersect.com

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